Oval shaped or pear shaped, the figs are perhaps the most savored fruit growing in the warm areas of the planet. They are soft, juicy and sweet with a high concentration of natural sugars that places them in the top of the sweetest fruit on the planet. They are known and loved because of the delicate flavor reminding us of the warm countries where the sun and the sea are accompanying our vacations.
There are many species of figs but the most used are the white, the red and the black colored types. The violet-black colored figs have medicinal purposes and the species that are normally found and enjoyed in the kitchen are those carrying a yellow reddish color, large and fat, fitted for conservation and used in sweet or salted dishes.
The color of the fruit differs from their condition of being ripe and varies from yellow to dark violet. The figs can be entirely consumed although many are pealing their skin to offer more smoothness to the prepared dishes.
They are commonly found in the oriental kitchen but in the modern days they appear more often in the occidental food.
When fresh, the figs are perfect to be used as garnish for roasted bird meat such as chicken, duck or goose but can also be perfectly associated with grilled fish.
The fatty types are normally used as the main ingredient in compotes or in sweet sauces and combined with Asian style spices and vegetables. This mixture is served with vegetable and meat dishes.
You can serve figs in so many elegant ways and they can be turned into a perfect way to decorate a spectacular snack table. The figs can be washed, cut in cross to the half of the fruit and opened as a flower. In the opening, you can place a slice of cold stake, cream cheese or a piece from another fruit.
The fig “flower” can also be filled with ice-cream, vanilla pudding, dough or cake filling, pistachio or nuts.
The fresh figs can be served as hors d’oeuvres accompanied by ham, salami and toast. As a dessert they accompany the French cheese next to grapes and nuts. The figs can also be added to puddings, dough and cake fillings mixed with other dried fruit.
The dried figs can be preserved in white cereal alcohol or white wine. The drinks resulted from this process are very flavored and refined.